Monday, April 25, 2011
"The gospel assures us that love is stronger than hatred, peace than war, holiness than evil, truth than error. It is the marriage of the goodness of motive and the goodness of attainment; goodness in the soul and goodness in outward life ; heaven hereafter and heaven here. It asserts that the good man is always in reality successful; that he who humbles himself is exalted, he who forgives is forgiven, he who gives to others receives again himself, he who hungers after righteousness is filled. This was the faith which Christ expressed, in which and out of which he lived and acted ; it was this faith which made him Christ the King, King of human minds and hearts. Was it then all false? Did his death prove it so? Was that the end, the earthly end, of his efforts for man ? Were truth and love struck down then by the power of darkness ? That was the question which his resurrection answered ; it showed him passing through death to higher life, through an apparent overthrow to a real trinmph; it gave one visible illustration to laws usually invisible in their operation, and set God's seal to their truth. Through that death which seemed the destruction of all hope Jesus went up to be the Christ, the King.
In this point of view we see the value and importance of the resurrection of Jesus, and why Easter Sunday should be the chief festival of Christianity. It was the great trinmph of life over death, of good over evil. It was the apt symbol and illustration of the whole gospel.
If, then, the resurrection of Christ means that Christ ascended through death to a higher state; if our resurrectiou means that we pass up through death, and not down; not into the grave, but into a condition of higher life; if the resurrection of the body does not mean the raising again out of the earth the material particles deposited there, but the soul clothing itself with a higher and more perfect organization ; if it is, then, the raising of the body to a more perfect condition of development,— then is there not good reason why such stress should be laid upon this great fact?...
The essential fact in the resurrection is, that Christ rose, through death, to a higher state. The essential doctrine of the resurrection is, that death is the transition from a lower to a higher condition in all who have the life which makes them capable of it."
Posted by slt at 11:30 AM